Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Archive for the tag “ramona ca”

Mariscos Mar de Cortez

Excellent #6 combination plate at Mariscos Mar de Cortez in Ramona! Asada taco and cheese enchilada.

El Michoacán

A Ramona institution since 1983, El Michoacan is a must visit if you’ve never been! And since the temperature yesterday was below 80 degrees I was happy to dine in. The building is cavernous and no frills (no air conditioning). The space is dotted with tacky inflatable decorations and random oscillating fans. I was pleased to see that the old, yellow hard plastic elementary school chairs have been replaced by modestly padded church/banquet hall style chairs. I just love the colorful and vibrant tablecloths here. My table had a cheerful rooster print which was fun to look at. This place is the embodiment of charm and tradition. 

There is a dizzying array of combinations on the menu (52), plus a nice selection of a la carte Mexican favorites. Eating a meal here is like being at casa de la abuela with homecooking by amá. You don’t feel like you’re just at some restaurant. I ordered the #44 which is two rolled tacos with guacamole, chicken enchilada and chile relleno, $13. Although the relleno was quite petite, it was flavorful and delicious. The chile walls were firm and the cheese filling kept its form without spooging out all over. Topped with an excellent ranchero sauce. The rolled tacos were filled with tender shredded beef and beautifully plated with lettuce, tomato and cheese. Chips here are somewhat stale and underwhelming more often than not, but the salsa is remarkably good. I hope you enjoy.

L&L Hawaiian BBQ

Less than desirable BBQ Beef Bowl at the new L&L in Ramona.

Mamma Ramona’s

Outstanding Chicken Piccata at Mamma Ramona’s!

Pinto Thai

Outstanding Panang Curry at Pinto Thai in Ramona! Can be ordered with your choice of protein or a combination thereof; plus side of steaming white rice. So richly flavored and delicious!


I am incredibly excited that Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is finally open in Ramona! I have been a fan of this fried chicken chain for some time. It was fun to see the construction progress unfold over the last few months as a tired old Subway morphed into a beautiful new Popeyes on the west end of town. They had only been open about four days when I made my first visit. The restaurant was very well staffed; the energy and enthusiasm among the employees was infectious. Everything did seem to move along at a deliberate and thorough pace though. We dined in and it took about 20 minutes for the food to come out. Definitely better than waiting in the meandering drive-thru right now.

I finally took this opportunity to order their legendary chicken sandwich. Surprisingly, I had never had one until now. You can choose one of two styles; classic or spicy. I ordered the classic version. It was obvious that their chicken portions for these sandwiches is very inconsistent. Mine was rather petite unfortunately. There was a liberal amount of mayonnaise which I appreciated. Decent amount of pickles too that I could taste in every bite. The chicken itself was hot, moist and perfectly crispy. I’m not gonna sugarcoat it though, it seemed pretty bland overall. Like they were only using 2 or 3 herbs and spices when the industry standard is 11.

Kountry Kitchen

I “parked in rear” and enjoyed a nice dinner at Kountry Kitchen recently! I was reminded that this is not just a place for great breakfasts, but also a dinner destination with a thoughtful collection of American-style comfort food classics. I ordered the “Homemade Meatloaf” for $13.99. All dinners are served with soup or salad, a mixed veg blend, your choice of taters and a mini bread loaf roughly the size of a Furby.

The meatloaf was such a generous portion, two big slabs, I couldn’t eat it all. The mouthfeel and texture of the loaf was somewhat dense, but it was well seasoned and richly flavored. The loaf slabs were enrobed with a silky, savory brown gravy. The side veg medley was pretty institutional and pedestrian. The bread, unremarkable. The standout for me was definitely the fresh tasting and nicely prepared dinner salad with an excellent blue cheese dressing. The French fries here are among the best in town. Seasoned, hot, crispy on the outside and pillowy soft inside.

Visiting Kountry Kitchen is always a pleasure. Everything is affordable here and a good value. Extraordinary service and quality food in a country atmosphere is their commitment and they really shine. Check them out for dinner sometime, the servers are outstanding! Open daily until 8:00 pm; 3:00 pm Sundays.

Pinto Thai

Excellent Thai Fried Rice at Pinto Thai in Ramona!


Rubio’s calls this a “Classic Grilled Shrimp Burrito”. I call it a “Rice” burrito with a little bit of shrimp! Despite the disappointing proportions, it was still tasty.

The Par Lounge

Outstanding “Hangover” omelette at The Par Lounge in Ramona! Jalapeño, sausage, cheddar and jack cheese, crowned with a nice daub of guacamole. Served with a side of hot, crispy, slightly greasy hash browns and a poorly toasted English muffin.

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